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Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on the Medical Polymers Market: Trends and Future Outlook

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Chemical Research

High Performance Polymers for Medical Devices - Evonik Industries

The Medical Polymers Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 22.13 Bn in 2023 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 10% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030, as highlighted in a new report published by Coherent Market Insights.


Market Overview:


Medical polymers are used in various medical devices, kits, implants and consumables due to their superior mechanical properties, chemical resistance and compatibility with human tissues. Some key properties of medical polymers include biocompatibility, flexibility and durability. They are used to manufacture medical equipment such as catheters, surgical gloves, syringes, prosthetics and more. Polymers offer advantages like transparency, lightweight and durability required for medical components.


Market Key Trends:


Demand for biodegradable polymers is increasing due to strict environmental regulations regarding disposal of conventional polymers. Biodegradable polymers such as polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) are gaining popularity as they can decompose in soil or water and do not leave any toxic residue. They are used in sutures, tissue engineering scaffolds and drug delivery systems as an alternative to traditional polymers. Researchers are also developing new biodegradable polymers derived from natural polymers like cellulose, collagen and silk, to reduce ecological footprint of medical polymers. Adoption of eco-friendly biodegradable polymers will be a major trend in the medical polymers market over the forecast period.


Porter’s Analysis:

  • Threat of new entrants: Low barriers to entry for starting new businesses in medical polymers. However, established brands have predominant market share and resources.
  • Bargaining power of buyers: Large medical device manufacturers have significant bargaining power due to their volume purchases. They can negotiate on price and demand high quality products.
  • Bargaining power of suppliers: A few major companies dominate the supply of key polymers like PEEK, PP, silicone etc. This gives them strong bargaining power over customers.
  • Threat of new substitutes: New biodegradable materials are emerging but compatibility issues and regulatory approvals are barriers. Traditional polymers still have advantages of durability and processing flexibility.
  • Competitive rivalry: Intense competition amongst key players to develop application-specific polymers and bundles of products and services. Capital investments in R&D are high.


SWOT Analysis:

  • Strength: Wide range of properties to suit diverse medical device needs. Processability into complex shapes using injection moulding or extrusion. Resistance to chemicals, sterilization and prolonged exposure in bodily tissues or fluids.
  • Weakness: Concerns over toxicity of certain additives and plasticizers used. Regulatory compliance adds to production costs. Limited capability for large-scale personalization.
  • Opportunity: Growth in implantable devices, surgical tools and diagnostics. Rising healthcare access in developing nations. Development of bio-based and resorbable materials.
  • Threats: Stringent regulatory norms. Shift to localized manufacturing may impact multinational firms. Developing substitutes like bioplastics.


Key Takeaways

The global medical polymers market is expected to witness high growth exhibiting CAGR of 10% over the forecast period, due to increasing demand for improved implant materials and single use surgical and medical devices. The market size for 2023 is estimated at US$ 22.13 Bn.


The North America region currently dominates the medical polymers market share due to presence of major players and advanced healthcare infrastructure. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing region owing to increasing healthcare investments, lower production costs and rising medical tourism.


Key players operating in the medical polymers market are BASF SE, Bayer MaterialScience AG, Celanese Corporation, DSM N.V., E. I. du Pont de Nemours Company, Eastman Chemical Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, Evonik Industries AG, and The Dow Chemical Company. These established brands continuously invest in product development to widen their portfolios and adapt to evolving regulatory standards.


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